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Poshanu Cham Temple and The Prince’s Castle – Phan Thiet, Vietnam

Cham Towers A and C
Tower C, the Fire Diety Tower, is just a small mound compared to Tower A

Renting scooters is a thrilling way to explore Mui Ne and Phan Thiet, and stopping at the Cham Temple and Prince’s Castle on Banai Hill is the perfect stop to break up the scooting and stretch your legs hiking up to the ruins. Atop the hill you get great views of the coastline and a massive cemetery dotted with colorful grave markers. If you are looking to buy souvenirs, there is pottery, woodcarvings and silk textiles that are hand loomed on site. There is a nominal entrance fee, and if you forgot your water or want some ice cream there is a small outdoor shop near the Towers.

Cham Shiva Tower A
The Largest Tower at the Poshanu Cham Temple Site

The Cham towers were built in the IX century, and have since been partially restored. There are three Towers: A, B and C. Tower A is the largest at 45ft tall, devoted to worshipping the god Shiva. Tower B is 36ft high, devoted to worshipping a Buffalo Diety and Tower C, not really a tower but more of a mound of bricks, is devoted to a Fire Diety. There isn’t really anything inside the towers worth noting.

Monument of Vietnamese Soldiers Holding a Vickers Machine gun
This is a monument to the Vietnamese soldiers who overtook the military post at the Prince's Castle site.

Just past the towers, up a little trail is a monument and then the Prince’s Castle. The monument will not make sense to most people because the plaque is inscribed in Vietnamese and the monument is of a group of guys holding up a machine gun. Keep walking, or reading and the sign will give you the following information. ***Spoiler Alert*** There once was a villa, built by a French Duke in 1910, not a castle. The villa was prime ground for guarding the road between Phan Thiet and Mui Ne, so during the French occupation, they built a military post to protect the pass. On June 14, 1947, a squad of Vietnamese soldiers snuck up to the post under the disguise of French Military Uniforms and captured or killed everyone there. Their big take was a Vickers heavy Machine gun. The Villa was subsequently destroyed, and the monument built.

A view of a tower in ruins
The tower and a few bunkers are all that remain at the Prince's Castle Site

Today there is no villa, just an old tower and some bunkers, but the old towers and bunkers are pretty cool to explore. If you are curious you can slip down into the bunkers and explore the relics the local homeless have left behind. If you’re brave, you might even try to scale the inside of the tower. But if your neither of those, you can just enjoy the really great view of Phan Thiet and the coastline. Make sure and examine the ground around the tower and inside, there are some really cool old tiles. I didn’t read this until after exploring, but supposedly there are unexploded ordinances in the surrounding area, so be careful.

A very old cracked tile
One of the remaining tiles at the Tower on Banai's Hill

Cham Temple Photos

Cham Tower and The Prince's Castle Map

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